Five Senate committees to meet on Feb. 1

The State Senate will hold a quorum call at noon on Monday, and five committees are scheduled to meet.

State Sen. Teresa Ruiz (D-Newark) will run her first meeting as chair of the Senate Education Committee at 10 AM.  The panel will hear testimony from representatives of invited associations and organizations on their educational priorities in the current legislative session.

The newly-created Senate Military and Veterans’ Affairs Committee will meet at 1PM to consider three bills: S-114, which would allow municipalities to provide free or reduced fee beach badges to active military and NJ National Guard personnel; S-589, which would require the Department of Military and Veterans, through State veterans service offices, to provide surviving beneficiary of deceased service member with comprehensive benefits packet; and S-590, which would require the DMVA website to provide a link to the website of institutions of higher education located in the State.  State Sen. James Beach (D-Voorhees) is chairing the new committee.

The Senate Economic Growth Committee will meet at 10:30 AM to discuss S-1, legislation sponsored by the panel chairman, State Sen. Raymond Lesniak (D-Elizabeth) to reform procedures concerning provision of affordable housing and abolish the Council on Affordable Housing.

The Senate State Government Committee, restricted this month and renamed the State Government, Wagering, Tourism & Historic Preservation, will consider three bills: S-708, the “Transparency in Government Act,” sponsored by State Sens. Richard Codey (D-Roseland) and Joseph Pennacchio (R-Montville), that provides for establishment of a State public finance website; S-923, sponsored by the new committee chairman, James Whelan (D-Atlantic City), that changes date by which mail-in ballots are transmitted to mail-in and overseas voters from the 40th to the 45th day before an election; and SR-23, sponsored by State Sen. Sandra Cunningham (D-Jersey City) and Lesniak, that memorializes Congress to enact “Haitian Protection Act of 2009” to grant qualifying Haitian nationals in the U.S. temporary protected status.

The Senate Environment Committee will consider two bills at their 10 AM meeting: S-221, which prohibits fishing gear on artificial reefs, and S-922, which appropriates funds for dam restoration projects.  The panel will also discuss problems to require public access to tidal waterfront areas (S-919) and S-921, which deals with concerns about solar panels.

Five Senate committees to meet on Feb. 1